The 63 year old diamond trader is wanted by the Indian legislative authorities for the charges of money laundering, criminal conspiracy, corruption, cheating and dishonesty. He is also accused in the PNB scam case. He is an Indian born citizen who later took citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda in 2017. He owns the Gitanjali Group, which is a retail jewellery group with an extensive network of showrooms across India.
It was in 1985 that he took over Gitanjali Gems from his father which was the beginning of all the frauds to unfold. From various credible sources, it can be learnt that he is admitted in the Dominica China Friendship hospital in Roseau as of 30th May 2021.
On 26th May, after lots of efforts from law enforcement authorities, the scammer cum trader was arrested in the island country of Dominica.
Mehul Choksi - Latest News
31 May 2021
Mehul Choksi was admitted to the hospital after he tests negative for Covid -19.
29 May 2021
Mehul Choksi was seen in custody with his left hand and eyes bruised.
27 May 2021
Mehul Choksi's lawyer clarifies that he can only be deported to Antigua and not to India according to Immigration and Passport Act Section 17 and 23 since he is an antiguan citizen.
27 May 2021
The Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne has requested Dominica to deport Choksi directly to India. If he is deported to Antigua, then he will be able to enjoy the protections given for a citizen.
23 May 2021
Mehul Choski goes missing from Antigua and Barbada. His lawyer and himself says that he was abducted.
The Beginning of the End for Mehul Choksi
The history of a long drawn out bank fraud came into light as PMLA issued non-bailable arrest warrants against Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi and Neeshal Deepak Modi. They have been involved in a $1.8 billion scam in the second largest public sector bank, Punjab National Bank. The bank claims that Choksi along with Nirav Modi colluded with the employees to illegally obtain money from the bank.
Although he claims to be innocent even in an open letter, it does not go along with the fact that he left to the Carribean nation Antigua and Barbada just before the scam was disclosed.
His oath taking as a citizen of the same country a few days the after disclosure further adds oil to the fire. Later, the PMLA authorities responsible for the investigation found out that 41 properties that were held by the Enforcement Directorate in the name of Mehul Choksi were money laundering assets.
They ordered for the attachment of these properties worth 1210 crore. Following the order, a mall in Kolkata, 15 flats and 17 office premises in Mumbai, a four-acre farm house in Alibaug and 231 acres of land at locations like Nashik, Nagpur, Panvel in Maharashtra and Villupuram in Tamil Nadu were attached by the ED in keeping up with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The Final Escape of Mehul Choksi
There was confirmed information that Mehul Choksi was there in Antigua and Barbuda. However, he went missing on May 23,2021. His car was later discovered in the Jolly Harbour area which strengthened the assumptions that he escaped to Cuba. However, the truth was revealed as he was confirmed to be in the Carribean country of Dominica.
Since he was trying to flee to Cuba, this attempt can be used by the CBI to strengthen their claims for extradition. Another twist to the plot came when Choksi’s advocate alleged that he was kidnapped by someone who Choksi believes to be an Indian and Antiguan police into Dominica in a boat.
The Story Now of Mehul Choksi
The High Court of Justice Commonwealth of Dominica has stayed the extradition order of the scammer. The pictures of his swollen eyes and injured left hand are flooding the social media.
The efforts of Indian agencies have not ceased. They continued to call the Antiguan government to extradite him by claiming that he is in fact an Indian citizen and has an Interpol Red Corner Notice issued in his name. Another group of people says that the Red Corner Notice cannot be used in this case since the task of locating the criminal is already done.
At the same time, the Antiguan opposition party is clearly making use of this opportunity to support Choksi against the extradition claims of India. It is widely perceived as their attempts to later procure campaign funding from Choksi as a return gift.
Mehul Choksi Timeline
- Mehul Choksi leaves India for the USA. He fled through Mumbai International Airport
- Punjab National Bank files complaint against Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi for defrauding the bank by colluding with the bank employees
- CBI files probe against the scammers (Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi, Nishal Modi). Raids and searches were also done.
- The amount involved in the fraud was disclosed to be $1.7 billion.
- CBI files case against the Gitanjali group.
- PNB CEO announces that the losses are hoped to be compensated in 6 months.
- Union Bank of India announces its exposure of $300 million in association with the PNB scam while of State Bank of India, it was $212 million.
- Choksi claims to be innocent.
- Interpol at the request of CBI issues Red Corner Notice against Mehul Choksi.
- Choksi reaches Antigua after taking oath of citizenship earlier in 2018.
- The UK Home Secretary accepts the extradition request of CBI and the files were to Westminster court.
- Mehul Choksi goes missing.
- Later he gets caught in Dominica.
- CBI is waiting for the clearance of extradition.
What did Mehul Choksi do?
Mehul Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are the key accused in the 2018-Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam which was estimated to be around ₹13,500 crores.
When did Mehul Choksi leave India?
Mehul Choksi left India on 7 January, 2018 and few days later, the PNB scam was disclosed.
Where is Mehul Choksi right now?
Mehul Choksi had been staying in Antigua and Barbuda since January 2018.
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